Century Ride in the Books

Yesterday we hopped on the bikes at 8:15 am and set out on an adventure.  Our goal was 100 miles of saddle time…and to have a little fun along the way 🙂  We weren’t concerned about pacing.  We weren’t concerned about keeping our stop breaks to a minimum.  We weren’t concerned about taking our time to finish the ride.

The farthest we had gone so far this spring prior to this ride was 52 miles, so we knew this would be a big jump in distance and saddle time for us, but we had all day to get it done.

The first 40 miles were really fun.  Sure it rained on us for a bit, but we were just getting started, so we were feeling good and we had the winds at our backs for the most part.

The Iron Hippie and Dr. Chris taking a quick break to refill our water bottles.
Allen taking a quick break to refill water bottles.

Shortly before mile 40, we saw a sign that looked like this:

IMG_1475This would be the first of many (I lost count after #4)…”Twister Hill” was the first BIG hill that we would encounter on this route.  Unfortunately in central Iowa, we always go down the big hills first and then have to climb back out of the river valley.  “Twister Hill” is where some of the filming took place in the movie “Twister.”  What goes down, must come up…225 feet of climbing over 1 mile.  For central Iowa, this is a fairly big hill 😉

We had a few more of these big hills to descend and climb before we got to mile 50 where we would take our 2nd longer break to refill the water bottles.  We finished the first 50 miles in just under 3 hours.


Once we were back in the saddle, we knew we were going to have some headwinds to fight, a couple more of those big hills to climb and lots of rolling hills to overcome.  As a result, we decided to start off a bit easier than what we had been riding for the first 50 miles.

At mile 80, we knew we only had 7 more miles of suck until we could turn around and have the tailwind for the last 15 miles home.  These next 7 miles would prove to be VERY challenging…more mentally than physically, but we conquered them!!

We finally made it to mile 87…now it is time for the tailwind.

We easily averaged over 20 mph on the return trip to Ames, without even trying.  It was awesome!!  When we pulled into our driveway, we were super excited to get off our bikes, relax in the lawn chairs and eat the homemade beef stew that had been cooking all day in the crock pot 🙂

Total Ride Time:  6:33:08

Total Distance:  102 miles

Average Speed:  15.6 mph

Total Elevation Gain: 2,956 feet (the Ironman Wisconsin bike course is 2,890 feet of climbing over 112 miles)

Average Power: 121 Watts (upper Zone 1…I need to work on getting more solidly into Zone 2)

This morning I received a text message from Allen with the following quote that I feel sums up our century ride almost perfectly:

“I was thinking about our ride yesterday and it was rather sadistic.  Let’s start with 40 miles in the rain to get soaked and going, then throw in 35 miles of climbing in and out of the Des Moines river valley because we are bored, then for more fun lets finish up by riding straight into a headwind for a bit more enjoyment.  I am not sure we could have chosen a harder 100 around here and still end up in Ames.  Good work 🙂 “


Knee Update…I am still unable to run, but cycling does not bother my knee at all.  I am going through active release therapy and am still holding out some hope that I will be able to run some at our upcoming 70.3 race on June 8.

17 thoughts on “Century Ride in the Books

  1. Sounds like a great day! And wow, haven’t seen a Casey’s in a while- picture took me back. 🙂 biking will keep your run strong. One of my group coaches doesn’t run over 24 miles a week and pulls out 12:00 IM’s. Hope it heals fast for you!!

  2. Thanks for this post. I’m heading for my 1st Century in August and have been stalling in taking it above my comfort limit. Your ‘it doesn’t matter how long it takes’ attitude is refreshing, and getting the miles under your wheels sounds like a good approach

    1. It was a great way to spend the day…especially since it was in the mid 60s, mostly cloudy and there wasn’t much traffic on the roads 🙂

  3. Congratulations on your first 100 of the season! That does sound like a tough way to start! And awesome news about being able to bike without it bothering your knee. I hope the active release helps!

  4. I’ve only completed one century ride and all I can remember is how hungry I was (and subsequently, how much food I ate) when I was finished. Way to power through some adverse conditions and complete the ride. Nothing like finishing the last few miles with a nice tailwind, especially after the headwinds and climbing! I hope your active recovery kicks in quick and that you are back running in no time!

    1. I remember when I first went out for longer rides. I wasn’t taking in enough food along the way either, so I spent a lot of time famished and devouring everything in sight when I got off the bike 🙂

      My active release therapy is working. I was able to run about 5 minutes this weekend before I felt any pain. Just over a week ago, I couldn’t take one step without feeling pain. Little by little, I’m making progress 🙂

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